From the crystal-clear waters that lap the rugged coast of Cape Town to the country’s awe-inspiring savannahs, South Africa is a country of stark contrasts.
Often overlooked by Australian travellers, this destination is home to the kind of experiences that money can’t buy. (Have you ever found yourself sitting quietly in an open-top Range Rover so as not to disturb the wild elephants? Until recently, neither had we.) Here, why South Africa deserves a place on your bucket list.
STAY & PLAY
Biyela Lodge, Umfolozi Big Five Game Reserve
Is it adventure you’re after? Or, perhaps, a romantic getaway you’ll never forget? With Biyela Lodge, you can have both. Situated a three-hour drive north of Durban and within the Umfolozi Big Five Game Reserve, Biyela Lodge might just take your breath away. Upon arrival, you’ll find 12 private villas nestled within a cliff overlooking the park’s White iMfolozi River.
While the scenery is utterly amazing – expect to see elephants, giraffes and the occasional lion saunter past – the accommodation is so luxurious, you’ll have a hard time dragging yourself out of bed. Rooms here are the definition of five star – each comes with its own private pool, king size bed, walk in robe and pictures-won’t-do-it-justice views. The lodge comes alive at sunrise and sunset when guests are invited to jump in the back of an open-top car to quietly zoom around the property and catch a glimpse of Africa’s iconic wildlife. This is an experience not to be missed.
12 Apostles Hotel, Cape Town
We’ll hazard a guess that the 12 Apostles is like nowhere you’ve ever stayed before. At this hotel in Cape Town’s Camps Bay district, the devil is in the detail – picture an eclectic mix of just-kooky-enough décor flanked by picturesque 180-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean. Set aside time to visit the hotel’s Leopard Bar and slowly sip on a cocktail (or three?) as the sky turns orange and the sun slowly descends over the horizon. This family-run hotel provides the perfect home base as you discover all that Cape Town has to offer.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Gritty Pretty Magazine. Want more on South Africa? To continue reading, click below.